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Publisher's Summary

Sonea is caught up in a confrontation between the hated Guild magicians and the angry youth of the slums. To her dismay, she discovers that she possesses the same powers as the reviled magicians. To avoid capture, she must seek protection from the city's feared underworld, The Thieves. In return, she must use her powers for them, but her magic never seems to do quite what she intends it to.
©2004 Trudi Canavan (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
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Critic Reviews

"The first part of the Black Magician Trilogy, this captivating tale has already been hailed by critics as a 'must for lovers of good fantasy'." ( Marie Claire)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kathy on 07-28-09

kept my attention!

I hesitated to get this book because of the review about the narrator, but I read Magician's Apprentice (new hardcover) first, like it, and decided to try the audio book. I am enjoying it very much, and the narrator seems fine to me. The harsher voice (described by another reader as a smoker's voice) reminds me somewhat of Jim Dale-though he is in a category by himself!- the book is certainly worth reading, and I intend to get the rest of the series.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Just Some Fool on 03-01-10

The book is like a wooden roller coaster...

This book is like a wooden roller coaster ride. It starts out slow: Some people complain that it is boring while others just enjoy the view. However, like the wooden roller coaster, once you crest the first and tallest hill things really pick up.

I set this book down twice and I'm glad I picked it up the third time. I started listening to it at night when I was trying to fall asleep, and at first it was great for that...

Other reviews have mentioned the 'monotone voice' of the reader. This reader uses a very monotone voice as the 'narrator voice'.

This reader uses many voices for the different characters (and you can recognize which character speaks by the voice the reader uses!) as the characters are introduced into the book. There is more narration at the start of the book, setting things up, than the rest of the book.

My Personal; About This Book:

Each night I would find the beginning of the last chapter I could remember hearing and start there, and listen again until I fell asleep...

... In the early chapters I fell asleep pretty quickly (not 'because' of the book, but the sound of someone reading muffled other sounds, and the images I formed in my head helped me to forget about stuff I had to do the next day or other worries I had)...

... However, about the third or fourth night I found the book was keeping me awake. I had to stop listening to it at night because I found myself staying awake to find out what happened 'next'!

The book had me cheering for 'both sides' of 'the conflict'.
Review Wrap Up:

I can understand why some people gave it a low rating, and if you just don't like slow starts then don't buy this book.

If you don't mind enjoying the scenery and just going with the flow, understanding that things will be explained later, then this is a good book.

I couldn't put the second book down and I'm reading the third book right now.

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21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Brighton UK Customer on 08-16-09

Good book - shame about the narrator

I believe this audiobook is let down by the narrator, Richard Aspel. His timing is poor, he uses inappropriate emphasis on sentences and his odd accents distract from the story rather than adding to it.

The book itself is fun and interesting. Some points were repeated too often and I found myself thinking: "yes, I realised that was important the first 5 times it was mentioned". However, the pace of the book picks up in the final third and I am very interested to find out how the lead character, Sonea, develops in the next book.

Thank you Trudi :)

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30 of 30 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Miss on 07-22-13

Fantastic book - terrible narrator

What did you like best about this story?

Fantastic story - all of the books by trudi canavan have captivated and held my attention through reading and re-reading!

What didn’t you like about Richard Aspel’s performance?

If you don't mind heavy breathing and continuous gulping you will like this audio book - when listening I find the heaving breathing and the additional mouth noises incredible irritating to a fantastic story

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

For the story yes but with a different narrator

Any additional comments?

With a female lead character a female narrator would be better and one who was not so annoying in the recording - a male narrator like Stephen fry would not produce so many irritating additional noises in the recording - I wish the audio book was one I could enjoy as many times as harry potter - the story should allow all the books to be - but the choice of narrator is very poor

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23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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